Softball: Alyssa Gunther gives Tinley a spark
Updated: April 16, 2012 7:48PM
It has been an up-and-down season for Tinley Park record-wise, but a constant for the Titans has been the offense provided at the top of the order by Alyssa Gunther.
The junior infielder entered the week with a .596 batting average, 15 RBI, 30 runs and 17 stolen bases.
“Alyssa is an athlete who keeps people in the coaching profession,” Tinley Park coach Wendy Podbielniak said. “She has a genuine love for the game of softball and brings me back to the very reason I chose to be an educator and a coach.
“She is the first kid with her glove and spikes on and the last one to leave practice. She and her teammates are changing the face of the Tinley Park softball program.”
The Titans (11-7, 8-2) have a key South Suburban Blue game Tuesday against defending division champion Oak Forest (12-8, 8-3). They lost their grip on first place in the Blue via an 8-7 loss Thursday to Lemont (14-3, 10-1).
A silver lining in the defeat, though, was junior pitcher Sarah Gillespie, whom Podbielniak hinted had earned herself a start against Oak Forest after holding Lemont hitless over the final three innings in relief of staff ace Maranda Stroz.
“Sarah did a great job,” Podbielniak said. “We’ve got to do a better job of being prepared in inning one. That’s been a problem. Sometimes you’ve got to change things up. We’ll see what Gillespie has against Oak Forest, I’ll tell you that.”
Richards won 28 games in a row and went down to the final weekend of the regular season in 2011 before suffering its first loss, a 3-2 decision to Antioch.
The 2012 season-opening streak ended at 16 after a 3-2 loss Friday to Marengo at The Ballpark in Rosemont, home of the Chicago Bandits.
Rebound? No problem.
“That game showed us that we have stuff to work on — and that nobody is perfect,” outfielder Nicole Ellement said after the Bulldogs rallied late Saturday to beat Lockport 4-2 in eight innings. “It’s better to learn early.
“Last year we learned really late in the season that, ‘Ohhhhh,’ and we got real off balance about it and we lost the game after, and it really affected us (in the state playoffs).
“(Saturday), we came out and we knew what we had to improve on and what we messed up (Friday), and we came back stronger (Saturday) than ever.”